I came across this CBS Sportsline article of the Top 50 Jerks In Sports. The list is mostly crap, but they did have an interesting and funny tidbit on Albert Belle.
This remains one of the best written descriptions of pure jerkiness ever conceived. It comes from former New York Times baseball writer Buster Olney:
“It was a given in baseball circles that Albert Belle was nuts. … The Indians billed him $10,000 a year for the damage he caused in clubhouses on the road and at home, and tolerated his behavior only because he was an awesome slugger. … He slurped coffee constantly and seemed to be on a perpetual caffeinated frenzy. Few escaped his anger — on some days he would destroy the postgame buffet … launching plates into the shower … after one poor at-bat against Boston, he retreated to the visitor’s clubhouse and took a bat to teammate Kenny Lofton’s boom box. Belle preferred to have the clubhouse cold, below 60 degrees, and when one chilly teammate turned up the heat, Belle walked over, turned down the thermostat and smashed it with his bat. His nickname, thereafter, was ‘Mr. Freeze.’”
Naturally, after reading this I went to Wikipedia to see if I could dig up any other “Crazy Al” stories. I came up empty for the most part, but I DID find out he plead guilty to stalking a hooker in 2006.
In February 2006, Belle was arrested on suspicion of stalking a woman who was identified in court as a former licensed escort. He was again arrested in charges related to the same case on May 17, 2006. On July 27, 2006, Belle plead guilty to one count of stalking and he was sentenced on August 24 to 90 days in jail and five years supervised probation. Belle had attached a GPS tracking device onto her car and obtained her phone records. Belle issued an apology to the woman stating, “I have made mistakes in my life, but I have admitted my mistakes and learned from them to be a better person.”
The great ones are always a little wonky in the head.